Vanderbilt University Medical Center as an institution and the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology continue to prioritize resident wellness. Residency training in any field is challenging, but obstetrics and gynecology is physically, mentally, and emotionally demanding. Ongoing efforts are made to encourage residents to build networks of support, develop habits that support their personal wellness, and build resilience.
Each year, the entire cohort of residents participates in a protected day for a residency retreat. The day’s activities are organized by the Administrative Chief Residents with the goal of fostering comradery and developing common goals. Previous retreats have included a canoeing outing, resident olympics at a nearby farm, and an aerial challenge course. Interns participate in resilience workshops with interns from Internal Medicine.
Each resident is also assigned to a wellness group led by a faculty member who has demonstrated a commitment to work-life balance. The wellness groups are given protected time each year for a wellness outing such as a zoo visit, go cart driving, zip lining, escape room, and hiking. Each resident is afforded two afternoons each year free from duty to attend to their personal wellness. They can also attend healthcare visits anytime - no questions asked.
Many social events and wellness activities are planned throughout the year. The department holds a back-to-school happy hour, holiday party, and new intern welcoming party for faculty and residents alike. Attendings invite residents to sample some of the activities that keep them grounded and mindful such as martial arts, hiking, fishing, dancing, and yoga. Residents are encouraged to maintain their wholeness by continuing activities that contribute to wellness or to find something new that can help them connect to a life outside of medicine.
For more resources on personal health and wellness, visit the GME office's House Staff Health and Wellness page.